The third Democratic presidential debate takes place tonight live from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. This debate is hosted by ABC News and moderated by David Muir and Martha Raddatz. The live stream link is below and freely available with no login required for viewing.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
ABC News Democratic Debate
Aired On: ABC (Live Stream)
8pm ET (7pm CT, 5pm PT)
Candidates: Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley
Report from USAToday:
Hillary Clinton looks increasingly like a general election candidate performing from a primary stage.
The challenges that come along with that, both for her and her Democratic competitors, will be clear at the party’s third debate Saturday in New Hampshire.
Clinton, who’s maintaining more than a 20-point lead in national polls over her nearest competitor, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, has focused less on mirroring his progressive positions — with the exception of a pledge Wednesday to raise taxes on the wealthy — and more on positioning herself for the general election.
With much of the 2016 spotlight focused on the GOP battle and Donald Trump’s provocative statements and proposals (such as his recent call to temporarily ban non-citizen Muslims from entering the country), the debate is a chance for the Democrats to get some media exposure. Clinton and Sanders will be joined on stage by former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.
The last debate, held in Iowa the day after the Paris terrorist attacks, was punctuated by hits on Clinton’s foreign policy record, including her vote as a U.S. senator to authorize the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Now, the question is whether O’Malley and Sanders sharpen those attacks with polls showing the race largely stagnant since October.
“For Sanders and O’Malley it’s a gut-check moment,” said Dante Scala, a political expert at the University of New Hampshire. “Are they, in their hearts, fine with Hillary being the nominee,” or do they want to escalate attacks that could hurt her in a general election, he said.
Additionally, for O’Malley, that route “might jeopardize his future in a Clinton administration,” Scala added.
The only question going into this debate, as the article notes, is whether Sanders or O’Malley really want to make inroads by attacking Hillary, or whether they’re content with her as the nominee. Anything short of an absolute disaster of a debate is a victory for Clinton. If she has an acceptable performance, that’s all she needs to turn in right now being this far ahead in the polls. Based on the last two Democratic debates, I don’t expect much in the way of direct attacks, just veiled comments about being a “fresh face” in Washington, or other such innocuous lines.
Tune in to your local ABC station for live coverage at 8pm ET (7pm CT, 5pm PT).